Author Topic: GPX OR NOT GPX?  (Read 24330 times)

GPX OR NOT GPX?
« on: May 08, 2019, 09:33:47 pm »
Some people like gpx files/devices and those that more than don't like! I'm sure everyone has an opinion.

I have to use computer/gpx due to mental issues, PTSD means I forget what I read, almost immediately plus get stressed!

Is it possible, that someone can organise a section in this website, for all Audax rides to be listed with a gpx file? Is it something that anyone else, would find helpful  or offensive!?
Would the organisers, that do so much already, find it helpful?
If I was capable, I would try to do it, but its not likely.

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2019, 10:35:51 pm »
I've flagged a request on the AUK website to be able to filter listed events (cals and perms) with org supplied gpx tracks.
Seems at least as worthy as some of the other filter options implemented recently.

Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2019, 12:02:45 am »
Thank You  :thumbsup:

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2019, 12:16:52 am »
I have to use computer/gpx due to mental issues, PTSD means I forget what I read, almost immediately plus get stressed!

Seems like an excellent reason.  In my experience of trying to navigate with routesheets, I find that once I'm a decent way into a ride, I suffer from a sort of placename-specific aphasia.  I much prefer a map, as I can hold the shape of a road in my head more reliably, and of course a GPS receiver offloads all that entirely.

I expect the feature could also be useful if you want to do mandatory-route ECEs and things.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2019, 05:01:24 pm »
My experience is a bit dated (I still use an old eTrex Vista HCx; it works), but I wonder if there is a standard that would be ok with all devices? As an organiser, I was (but not in recent years) challenged by riders who found the basic track not to their liking. I deliberately kept it simple so that it would work in as many devices as were around at that time; max 500 trackpoints in a single track. I've never changed that format. But it would be inadequate for anything over 300k (possibly less if you get upset that the track doesn't follow the road closely)

So while I support the request that gpx files become a standard part of the audax offering (you don't have to use them if you prefer the "purist" approach of following the routesheet), I think it is necessary to clearly define what the format should be.

Eg tcx or gpx (I can't use tcx, but can convert), route or track, single track or segments, max number of trackpoints? And I'm sure there are other factors I haven't thought of. Some organisers provide a tracklog, presumably of their test ride, with thousands of trackpoints. Is that sufficient for riders to work with? I've never used a gps device to provide navigation detail (just follow a breadcrumb track) - does navigation require something more?

If anyone tells me that the gpx file I provide for Upper Thames is no longer fit for purpose, I'd be happy to change it. Provided it would suit all riders.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2019, 05:06:17 pm »
With modern devices linking directly to routes on ridewithgps through pinning or cloning to one's own account and that site allowing the export of routes in a reasonable range of formats and it being probably the best tool for route planning out there (once you've got a hang of the gotchas in the routing algorithms) that many organisers use it is perfect, and when I get sent a gpx I just upload to there anyway...

Sent from my BKL-L09 using Tapatalk


Kim

  • Timelord
Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2019, 05:23:00 pm »
Eg tcx or gpx (I can't use tcx, but can convert), route or track, single track or segments, max number of trackpoints? And I'm sure there are other factors I haven't thought of. Some organisers provide a tracklog, presumably of their test ride, with thousands of trackpoints. Is that sufficient for riders to work with? I've never used a gps device to provide navigation detail (just follow a breadcrumb track) - does navigation require something more?

IMHO a sensible common denominator is a GPX file containing a single Track with enough trackpoints to represent the route in sufficient detail.  Users of old devices can downsample/split it to meet their needs.  Those who want to hand-craft[1] a Route for turn-by-turn directions (which by its nature is device-map-specific and not something an organiser can usefully provide) can use it as a template/backup.  I'd chuck in some Waypoints with accurate positions for controls and infos, with the assumption that some cycling-specific devices may just ignore them, and they don't always make it through a given toolchain.

Linking to something like ridewithgps is nice for people who want to see the ride on a map ahead of the ride, possibly even at the deciding-whether-to-enter stage.  Personally, I'd still email a out GPX file along with the routesheet, so you're not relying on a third party service to not go down the evening before the event.


[1] The only way to make a Route than an eTrex will follow at all predictably in turn-by-turn mode is to create it in Mapsource/Basecamp using the same map that's on the device.  You still have to check the routing on the device itself, because in their infinite wisdom, Garmin's devs thought it was a good idea to implement a different algorithm on the desktop software.  This makes the whole thing a horrendous faff, but one that can be worthwhile if you have trouble reading the GPS screen while you're on the bike.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2019, 06:18:38 pm »
One can convert down but not up, so I'd err on the side of more points rather than fewer. For me personally I'd say that whether there were accurate location points for info controls on the provided GPX has been the biggest single factor affecting how much I enjoyed (and in one case whether I finished) those rides. Riding through a hailstorm is better than stressing about whether I've missed the info. YMMV of course.

Please don't rely on RideWithGPS though - it seems to want me to subscribe before I can download anything.

jiberjaber

  • ... Fancy Pants \o/ ...
  • ACME S&M^2
Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2019, 06:51:27 pm »
I think it should be incumbent on the user to ensure the GPX is suitable for their device rather than relying on the org to furnish hundreds of versions or down sample it to a lowest common denominator.

I really appreciate it when there is a GPX or similar file.  I have no problems with that being shared on RWGPS or similar.

If I access a public route on RWGPS I am able to download the GPX track without logging in or paying anything...



(other route sharing services are available)
Regards,

Joergen

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2019, 07:31:29 pm »
I have Premium RWGPS so I don't have to use (sorry to pick on you) Wilkyboy's tracks which strip out actual routing info and replace with a control count down.

There are as many ways of using a GPS as there are users.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2019, 08:01:53 pm »
One can convert down but not up, so I'd err on the side of more points rather than fewer. For me personally I'd say that whether there were accurate location points for info controls on the provided GPX has been the biggest single factor affecting how much I enjoyed (and in one case whether I finished) those rides. Riding through a hailstorm is better than stressing about whether I've missed the info. YMMV of course.

Please don't rely on RideWithGPS though - it seems to want me to subscribe before I can download anything.

That'll be user error. You can plan, upload, download, link without paying.

As said upthread, the easiest way would be to post a link to RWGPS route, then people could download it in a format of their choice.  Equally, existing routes and be uploaded in any format, then re-downloaded in any format.

We are way past the era of serial cables and dragging and dropping into folders and hoping it would work.

FWIW most orgs offer a GPX. It tends to be the luddite who dont, ie. the sort who only accept paper entries and cheques.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2019, 08:11:23 pm »
I think it should be incumbent on the user to ensure the GPX is suitable for their device rather than relying on the org to furnish hundreds of versions or down sample it to a lowest common denominator.

hear hear.
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2019, 08:29:20 pm »
You can't include waypoints in the GPX downloaded from ridewirhgps unless you have a paid subscription. Personally I'd prefer the organiser just provide the GPX as a track with waypoints directly and let the user decide what they want to do further with it.

You also don't want to be sending raw track logs as they contain time stamps which can break the navigation of tracks for Garmin Edge units (eTrex series doesn't care)

Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2019, 08:41:32 pm »
Happy to have a gpx and route sheet with the controls to add as way points. Makes me study the route and enjoy finding POI's. :thumbsup:

Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2019, 09:57:21 pm »
One can convert down but not up, so I'd err on the side of more points rather than fewer. For me personally I'd say that whether there were accurate location points for info controls on the provided GPX has been the biggest single factor affecting how much I enjoyed (and in one case whether I finished) those rides. Riding through a hailstorm is better than stressing about whether I've missed the info. YMMV of course.

Please don't rely on RideWithGPS though - it seems to want me to subscribe before I can download anything.

That'll be user error. You can plan, upload, download, link without paying.

As said upthread, the easiest way would be to post a link to RWGPS route, then people could download it in a format of their choice.  Equally, existing routes and be uploaded in any format, then re-downloaded in any format.

We are way past the era of serial cables and dragging and dropping into folders and hoping it would work.

FWIW most orgs offer a GPX. It tends to be the luddite who dont, ie. the sort who only accept paper entries and cheques.


I disagree there.  I don't think you are a luddite if you prefer routesheets.  I don't mind entries by cheque now that I can process them by taking a photo of them on my phone with my Internet banking account, but I have never navigated an audax by gps.  I prefer routesheets.  Having said that, I do provide gps files for my events because I know that many entrants don't have the means to mount a routesheet and would not carry a map in case of unexpected issues 'on the ground'.  Interestingly, the only time I gave way to the gps users on the Easter Arrow, we ended up going the long the way round.  Not that I'm bitter...
Organising an October running of The Tour of Rheged from Witherslack Village Hall in S Lakes.  May Lakes audaxes should run in 2020.

Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2019, 09:59:41 pm »
One can convert down but not up, so I'd err on the side of more points rather than fewer. For me personally I'd say that whether there were accurate location points for info controls on the provided GPX has been the biggest single factor affecting how much I enjoyed (and in one case whether I finished) those rides. Riding through a hailstorm is better than stressing about whether I've missed the info. YMMV of course.

Please don't rely on RideWithGPS though - it seems to want me to subscribe before I can download anything.

That'll be user error. You can plan, upload, download, link without paying.

As said upthread, the easiest way would be to post a link to RWGPS route, then people could download it in a format of their choice.  Equally, existing routes and be uploaded in any format, then re-downloaded in any format.

We are way past the era of serial cables and dragging and dropping into folders and hoping it would work.

FWIW most orgs offer a GPX. It tends to be the luddite who dont, ie. the sort who only accept paper entries and cheques.


I disagree there.  I don't think you are a luddite if you prefer routesheets.  I don't mind entries by cheque now that I can process them by taking a photo of them on my phone with my Internet banking account, but I have never navigated an audax by gps.  I prefer routesheets. Having said that, I do provide gps files for my events because I know that many entrants don't have the means to mount a routesheet and would not carry a map in case of unexpected issues 'on the ground'.

Ahem.

Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2019, 10:07:47 pm »
I have tried navigating by gps on lesser rides, but found it inferior to a routesheet.   Who said comparisons are odious?  Can't remember.
Organising an October running of The Tour of Rheged from Witherslack Village Hall in S Lakes.  May Lakes audaxes should run in 2020.

Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2019, 10:08:24 pm »
I use gps.  I supply tracks with waypoints for my events.  I have no sympathy for someone who fails because their gps packs up.  You should prepare so you know where you're going, and have back-up systems (a routesheet, perhaps).

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2019, 10:11:46 pm »
I use gps.  I supply tracks with waypoints for my events.  I have no sympathy for someone who fails because their gps packs up.  You should prepare so you know where you're going, and have back-up systems (a routesheet, perhaps).

Or as FF suggested years ago, a second GPS.  These days that's easy: it's sitting in your pocket.

Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2019, 10:14:39 pm »
I have tried navigating by gps on lesser rides, but found it inferior to a routesheet.   Who said comparisons are odious?  Can't remember.
Paradoxically, I have never ridden an audax without my Garmin.  I rely on it to tell me how far I have ridden, what the time is, what the temperature is, which way I am pointing, how long I have been going, what my average speed is etc.  Similarly, I have never ridden a time trial without my Garmin for similar reasons - just that I change it to mph.
Organising an October running of The Tour of Rheged from Witherslack Village Hall in S Lakes.  May Lakes audaxes should run in 2020.

Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2019, 10:17:23 pm »
I politely ignored the comment before Saturdays Chevy 'I can't upload your provided rwgps track to my garmin xxxx. Why don't you use Strava'. I felt like saying...do you want me to ride it for you!

Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2019, 10:43:53 pm »
Ultimately I think AUK will need its own repository for GPX tracks  (and a means to create them).  A reliance on third-parties like RWGPS or Strava, always carries the risk of the relevant useful features being "improved" out of existence, or hidden behind a paywall. 

Personally I don't particularly like RWGPS, I don't use it often enough to remember where every thing is in a rather complicated UI, and I'd rather create my own from the routesheet to get a mental picture of where the route goes anyway.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2019, 11:04:58 pm »
Ultimately I think AUK will need its own repository for GPX tracks (and a means to create them).  A reliance on third-parties like RWGPS or Strava, always carries the risk of the relevant useful features being "improved" out of existence, or hidden behind a paywall. 

Personally I don't particularly like RWGPS, I don't use it often enough to remember where every thing is in a rather complicated UI, and I'd rather create my own from the routesheet to get a mental picture of where the route goes anyway.

The problem with a means to create them is unless you throw serious money at development you're just going to pick up an existing mapping provider's routing API.
And that has costs of its own and may also result in the features needed being "improved" out of existence.
Though in the case of google I'd safely say that every thing they do makes their software worse, some day they're likely to improve themselves out of existence.

The power of RWGPS comes from it's complexity, the simplicity in Strava and Komoot seems to result in that they just take you where everyone else goes.

And on that final point, isn't that what everyone should be doing as part of ride prep regardless of what navigation method they use?

GPS routing often has a few oddities that the route creator hasn't spotted...
Like the time I routed myself through a pub car park laid with deep chuckies, it was the only routing algorithm oddity I didn't spot, I'd cleaned up 15 or so.

Oh and this time:
Interestingly, the only time I gave way to the gps users on the Easter Arrow, we ended up going the long the way round.  Not that I'm bitter...

You were pretty adamant on the junction that we were trying to turn the wrong way, and you were right.
We should have spotted when checking the GPS files over that it went wide of that control by a fair distance.

Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2019, 11:17:39 pm »
Ultimately I think AUK will need its own repository for GPX tracks  (and a means to create them).  A reliance on third-parties like RWGPS or Strava, always carries the risk of the relevant useful features being "improved" out of existence, or hidden behind a paywall. 

AUK is a tiny organisation with a miniscule budget that's going to be allocated to recreating the basic functionality of the old website on the new platform for the rest of at least some of our lifetimes.

Freeloading on whatever service is currently available for free (even if that changes over time) is far more sustainable than trying to build something ourselves.

Re: GPX OR NOT GPX?
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2019, 11:25:33 pm »
Ultimately I think AUK will need its own repository for GPX tracks  (and a means to create them).  A reliance on third-parties like RWGPS or Strava, always carries the risk of the relevant useful features being "improved" out of existence, or hidden behind a paywall. 

Personally I don't particularly like RWGPS, I don't use it often enough to remember where every thing is in a rather complicated UI, and I'd rather create my own from the routesheet to get a mental picture of where the route goes anyway.

Audax Australia has a RWGPS "club" account (cost USD250 per year) that contains ALL scheduled and permanent rides, the ride calander links to these. Riders can down load the route in their choice of format and number of points compatible with their device, the RWGPS export function does all necessary conversions and optimisations, the RO does not have to do anything extra.

The "club" account provides premium account benefits for route users including off line maps/routes within the RWGPS phone app which provides a backup option for gps device users or as a primary mapping option for those who don't have a device. It is also a perfect alternate to paper maps and cue sheets. Riders don't even have to have a RWGPS logon to download the route.

So everyone is covered, those with a device, those without but who use their phone and the purists can just print the cue sheet and / or map from RWGPS and use that.  I am assuming the purists don't cheat by using soME non gps distance measuring device but rely only on their inbuilt dead reckoning abilities.

This has been available for a couple of years now, was a bit of an effort to get everything established but now members consider it to be a significant benefit.

PS: some "premium" planning features are also available to the RO when they create or maintain the route within the club repository on RWGPS so it's win, win, win, win.